The very definition of forbidden fruit.
America won't even be receiving the new Ford Focus Active, let alone the next ST. That's the reality of today. Conventional cars, including hatchbacks and hot hatches, are no longer deemed as being profitable, at least by Ford, in the US. It's a shame. Fortunately, the Mustang isn't going anywhere but it will soon be the only non-crossover, SUV or truck in Ford's American lineup. Other markets, specifically Europe, will still have regular access to regular cars, including the all-new Focus and its many variants. One of those variants is the new ST hot hatch, spotted here without any camouflage by our spy photographers around the Nurburgring area.
Ford test engineers driving the new Focus ST on public roads in its current state means an official debut is imminent. How can we tell this is the new Focus ST? Notice the sportier look overall, while the rear bumper also has a small diffuser between the exhaust pipes located on both the left and right sides. There's also a lowered and firmer suspension, bigger brakes, and, oh yeah… a big rear spoiler.
Under the hood, we'll find a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder delivering around 250-275 hp. The current Focus ST, which you can still buy in the US, has 252 hp and 270 lb-ft of torque, for comparison's sake.
Also like the current car, the new Focus ST will retain the front-wheel-drive setup. If there were to be another Focus RS, which also won't be sold in the US, that will be the one with AWD. A six-speed manual transmission is also expected to return, as are ST branded sport seats.
For Ford, the hot hatch market continues to be alive and well, just not in America. So if you ever find yourself in Europe, you'll soon be able to take the new Ford Focus ST out for a test drive. Too bad you can't bring it back home when you're done.